American Studies focuses on American; culture, companies, geopolitical decisions, history, power, literature and popular culture. In the present day, The United States of America, is a strong, influential and powerful country that affects the entire globe. Those who are interested in learning about all the aspects of this country will be well-suited to this degree. American studies also look beyond the boundaries of North America and incorporate the wider Americas, the Transatlantic, the Caribbean and the Transpacific, although rooted geographically to the United States it is truly a global degree.
Some institutions may look for a minimum amount of UCAS tariff points, or grades in certain subjects, such as English Language or English Literature at B grade as a starting point. Always check the entry requirements for the courses and universities that you are interested in prior to applying.
Students will tackle the issues that have been at the forefront of the American experience, gender, class ethnicity and sexuality, as well as explore crucial themes such as freedom, migrant and immigrant experiences, civil rights, American foreign relations and conformism and rebellion.
Those who are undecided as to whether study specific areas such as literature and history degrees are aided by being able to explore all aspects of culture in one degree, including American art, politics and music.
Students should expect to study many areas including; American history, literature, political culture, material culture, music, slavery, as well as Photography and Visual culture and African-American history.
Most institutions will also offer the opportunity to study abroad in America for a year, where students can seek adventure, culture and independence as well as a chance of a lifetime. Students looking to study in America should research American university finances, as some of the process will be different!
Assessments will be made up of coursework and formal examinations, although each institution will differ in how they assess their students for each of their modules as well as how much weight they carry. Assessment can also include presentations and group work.
Students develop analytical and rhetorical skills common to those who study humanities, as well as an ability to synthesise an array of perspectives, and bring a variety of original approaches and methodologies to the table. Individuals make connections where conventional thinkers may not, and benefits the intellectual within us all.
The majority of American Studies degrees will include a term, semester or a year studying abroad at an American university, providing students with a unique adventure and an experience of a lifetime, increasing employability after graduation.
Students will graduate with the skills of analysing, interpreting, communication, independence, maturity and the ability to thrive and live in other cultures which make their international employment opportunities rise.
University students will also gain knowledge in how to manage time and deadlines at university, as well as how to socialise with others around them through group work and presentations.
For students who wish to study this degree, they are enrolling on to an open, challenging and exciting degree which has been described as the ultimate liberal arts course. Throughout the degree, students will encounter an array of subjects from European colonisation and up to the contemporary present day.
Whether you love the Great Gatsby or the Great Depression, and everything in between, this degree has the potential to interest you and suit you well.
Many students may choose to further study deeper after American studies, or gain employment within the Media, the culture and heritage sectors, as well as Journalism and finance sectors.
Other students may go on to pursue careers in teaching and law.
Popular career options for graduates of American Studies include Publishing, Journalism, Marketing, Finance, Advertising, and the Creative industries.
There are both full-time and part-time postgraduate options for students who wish to continue with their studies ranging from American Studies, Film and American Studies, American History, and American Literature and Culture.
Also, some universities offer collaborative research programmes and courses with American universities, offering a chance to study abroad at postgraduate level also (Learn more – Thinking of studying abroad).
Janeane Garofalo is an American film actress who has played a role alongside Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer and The Cable Guy as well as credited as a voice actress in Disney’s Ratatouille
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